Day Funeral Home: Obituaries

Day Funeral Home

(September 20, 1924 - January 7, 2013)

Randolph, Vermont

Betty Bacon, 88, died peacefully, surrounded by family on Monday, January 7, 2013.

Betty was a long-time resident of the Menig Nursing Home Facility, where she was loved by all who knew her. Betty was born September 20, 1924 in Seward, Alaska to Clara A. and Earl (Bill) Hickok. Her father was in the Navy, so she moved several times between Washington, Oregon and Alaska, until settling in Anchorage when she was a teenager. Her father worked at that time as a civilian at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage. When Betty was 15, she started working with her dad as an air traffic controller, before women were air traffic controllers. She was very proud of her work because most women had voices which were too high to communicate over the airwaves. She always considered that she may have been the first woman air traffic controller, and was proud of that possibility, as well, although records that could document this are long gone. Among her very prized possessions were two acknowledgements of this work at Elmendorf. In 2007 she went to Anchorage to receive two awards. The first is a “gold pan” presented to her as an Alaska Aviation Pioneer, “In Recognition of her Contribution to Early Alaska Aviation and Air Traffic Control,” by the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage. She was also inducted into the Museum with this honor. The second is a Certificate presented to her by The 99’s, International Organization of Women Pilots and Professional Women Controllers honoring her contribution to Alaska Aviation. Betty also took flying lessons from Don Sheldon, one of the most well-known bush pilots in the world. Betty was proud to be self-educated. She could speak about many things, and had a sense of humor that made her a joy to be with. She was an accomplished violinist and played in the Anchorage Symphony before she left Alaska. She loved her Red Sox and was very happy when they won the pennant. She sold pianos and organs and taught organ lessons in Virginia and Washington, DC for many years before moving to Vermont. She loved her family, was very proud of her connection to “Wild Bill,” who was her grandfather’s cousin, and loved being called “Bill,” herself, when she was young. Betty married Robert F. Bacon on New Year’s Eve of 1941 in Anchorage, Alaska. She moved with him to Texas, then back to Alaska, and, finally to Virginia, where he worked for FAA until he retired in 1975. After his retirement, they moved to Bethel, Vermont.

Betty was pre-deceased by her brother, Milton Hickok, her husband, Robert F. Bacon, and a daughter, Sherry Bacon. Survivors include her only son, Robert, who lives in Plymouth, Mass., and her four daughters, Susan Parthree of Ft. Lewis/McChord, Washington, Lisa Bacon of Orleans, Mass., and Debra Bacon and Judy Bacon of Bethel, Vermont. Betty was grandmother to twelve, and to ten great-grandchildren, she was “Grandma the Great.”

There will be a private family gathering to celebrate her life. There will also be a service at Menig Nursing Home on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm. Arrangements were made through Day Funeral Home in Randolph, Vt. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Menig Extended Care Facility, P.O. Box 2000, Randolph, VT 05060 in her name.